Movie Review : Space Battleship Yamato

February 12, 2012

Space Battleship Yamato (宇宙戦艦ヤマト Uchū Senkan Yamato?, also called Cosmoship Yamato) is a Japanese science fiction anime series featuring an eponymous spacecraft. It is also known to English-speaking audiences as Space Cruiser Yamato; an English-dubbed and heavily edited version of the series was broadcast in North American and Australian television as Star Blazers. An Italian-language version was also broadcast under the name Star Blazers in Italy, and a Portuguese-language version was successfully shown in Brazil under the title Patrulha Estelar (“Star Patrol”).

In 2199, five years after the start of the Gamilas attack on Earth, the planet has been ravaged by the aliens’ radiation bombs and the remnants of humanity have fled underground. One day, former pilot Susumu Kodai discovers a capsule sent from the planet Iskandar that tells of a device that can remove the radiation from the Earth’s surface. The United Nations of Space Administration rebuilds the battleship Yamato, with a new type of propulsion system – the wave motion engine. This enables it to make the long trip to Iskandar and back in hopes of saving the Earth. Within 73 days the radiation will drive the rest of humanity to extinction.

Gaining $12 million in just five days and selling out at Asian and European territories, it is no surprise that this first ever live-action version of the Japanese animated sci-fi saga ‘Space Battleship Yamato’ is the talk of the town.

Watching this live action adaptation by Yamazaki reminded me of my childhood days and also took me beyond that. It was impressive on many levels, particularly the special effects, plot and casts’ chemistry.

The screenplay by Yamazaki’s regular creative partner Shimako Sato moves in a perfectly clear direction, cutting out most narrative digressions. Even viewers with zero knowledge of the original can pick up the plot and the vibes between the characters instantly. My favorite plot from the movie has got to be the heroic end (we won’t spoil it for you. You’ll know once you’ve watched it).

Having a star-studded cast might not always deliver a great live action film, but Yamazaki’s pick worked extremely well. Each character played their roles to a tee and the chemistry between them was outstanding. Lead actor Takuya Kimura definitely drove the film home with his dynamic representation of Kodai along side Toshiro Yanagiba, Naoto Ogata and Meisa Kuroki.

The special effects team led by Yamazaki himself and art director Anri Kamijou made the film beyond believable. The intricate designs of both the space vehicles and interior cabins of the Yamato were stunning. Mecha geeks around the world would surely appreciate the effort.

The intergalactic battles FX between fighter spacecraft and ground level combat were also worth commending. Each crossfire escalated in scale and tension making it extremely exiting. Watching this film reminded me the early Star Wars trilogy and 2001 Space Odyssey films.

One word to sum it all up… Classic.

Get your copy HERE now.

Fat Kids Rating 9/10

Words by Benny Teh

View Space Battleship Yamato Trailer Below:

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